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Archive for August, 2011

Statements by Bombing Suspect Tossed After FBI Delayed Reading of Miranda Rights

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The controversy over the FBI reading Miranda rights to terrorism suspects could get some added fuel.

The website Talking Points Memo (TPM) reported that U.S. District Judge Jude Justin Quackenbush in Spokane, Wash., was upset that the FBI did not immediately advise white supremacist Kevin Harpham of his rights after arresting him as a suspect who planted a bomb along the route of the MLK Day Parade in Spokane.

Consequently, prosecutors agreed not to use statements he made prior to being advised of his rights, TPM reported.

Some Republicans of members have been sharply critical of the FBI and the Justice Department for reading Miranda rights too soon.

In December 2009, some criticized the FBI for reading the Miranda rights too soon after agents arrested  “underwear bomber” in Detroit on Christmas day.

The Miranda rights issue surfaced again after suspect Faisal Shahzad was arrested for trying — but failing —  to detonate a bomb in Time Square.

TPM noted the usual critics in the past seemed to be missing this time around, possibly because the suspect in the MLK bombing case was not a Muslim.

Calif. Heroin Dealer Pleads to 22 Years in 2 Overdose Deaths

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s off to prison for more than two decades for a California heroin dealer who authorities say was responsible for two overdose deaths.

David Ryan Tejera, 23, pleaded guilty Monday in Los Angeles federal court in a deal that calls for him to serve 22 years, the Associated Press reported.

Authorities said Tejera injected a heroin and cocaine mixture into a Simi Valley man three times, resulting in his death, AP reported. He also provided heroin to a Thousand Oaks man who overdosed and died.

Prez Jokes that Secret Service Will Protect Daughters From Boys

white house photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service isn’t just there to protect the president from bullets.

President Obama predicted Tuesday that he would get re-elected and joked that he planned to use the Secret Service agents to shield boys from his daughters, Malia, 13, and Sasha, 10.

“When I’m reelected, what I’ll be getting them is a continuation of Secret Service so that, when boys want to start dating them, they are going to be surrounded by men with guns,” he said in an interview with CNN.

“That’s their gift,” he said when asked what his daughters could expect if he wins re-election.

(photo above: white house photo)

Guns from ATF Sting Linked to 11 More Violent Crime Scenes, La Times Reports

atf file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

More damaging news about ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious.

The Los Angeles Times reports that weapons from the troubled operation have surfaced at at least 11 violent crime scenes, and the one in which Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed last year.

The Times reported that the Justice Department made the acknowledgement in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which includes Sen. Chuck Grassley, a major critic of the program.  The Times reported that the guns surfaced in several Arizona cities including Phoenix and in El Paso, where 42 weapons were seized at two crime scenes.

Operation Fast and Furious has stirred a big controversy. Congressional investigators and the Inspector General’s Office have been looking into the program that encouraged Arizona gun dealers to sell weapons to middlemen or straw purchasers, all with the hopes of tracing them to the Mexican cartels.

ATF lost track of many of the guns.

The letter, signed by Assistant Atty. Gen. Ronald Weich, and obtained by the LA Times also suggested that ATF Director Ken Melson “likely became aware” of the operation as early as December 2009, a month after it began.” Melson has said he did not learn about details of the pperation was run until January of this year, when it was canceled, the Times wrote.

Collar Bomb Victim Relieved After FBI Arrests Suspect

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

FBI Stats Show Gun Sales on the Rise

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Depending on where you stand on the issue of gun sales, here’s good or bad news:

Gun sales continue to rise in this country, according to the Dayton Daily News.

The paper based its conclusion on FBI background checks for gun sales — a good indicator of sales — which increased to 14.4 million in 2010 from 8.5 million in 2003, according to the FBI.

The paper reported a record number of firearm background checks in Ohio.

In Ohio, during the first seven months of this year, the FBI conducted 247,847 background checks for firearm purchases at gun sellers, up 17.7 percent from the same period in 2010, 9.2 percent from 2009 and 42.4 percent from 2008, the paper reported, citing the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

The paper reported that Andrew M. Molchan, director of the Professional Gun Retailers Association, said gun sales have been on the upswing nationwide for the last six years following a Supreme Court ruling lifting gun bans in major cities including Washington.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

ATF Promotes Some Key Players in Controversial Fast and Furious Project

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

ATF has promoted some key players involved in the controversial gun project “Operation Fast and Furious” that encouraged Arizona gun dealers to sell to middlemen — all with the hope of tracing the weapons to the Mexican cartel, the LA Times reports.

The operation was considered a failure. Agents lost track of some of the weapons that later surfaced at crimes scenes on both sides of the Mexican-U.S. border.

One of those key players is William G. McMahon, who was the ATF’s deputy director of operations in the West. He was promoted Sunday to McMahon was promoted Sunday to deputy assistant director of the ATF’s Office of Professional Responsibility and Security Operations, the Los Angeles Times reported.

David Voth,  a field supervisors who oversaw the program out ATF’s Phoenix office, has become branch chief for the agency’s tobacco division, the paper reported.

The LA Times reported ‘several agents said they found the timing of the promotions surprising, given the turmoil at the agency over the failed program.’

Additionally, William Newell, who headed the Phoenix Division during Operation Fast and Furious, has gotten a new post as special assistant to the assistant director of the agency’s Office of Management in Washington.

His new assignment was a bit more complicated.

Last October, ATF announced that he would become ATF’s attache in Mexico City.  But when Operation Fast and Furious blew up and became the focus of a Congressional inquiry, the agency delayed his departure to Mexico and instead sent him to Washington to help with the inquiry.

Word circulated within ATF that the Mexican government was fuming over the program that let guns into Mexico, and that the government was talking about arresting Newell if he came south across the border.

ATF rethought the assignment and decided to keep Newell in Washington.

Secret Service Buys Souped Up Buses; Obama Using One for Midwest Travel

Pres. Obama in Cannon Falls, Minn./white house photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Greyhound it ain’t.

The U.S. Secret Service has purchased a new $1.1 million bus that President Barack Obama is using for his travels through the Midwest, the Associated Press reported.

The AP described the bus as “an impenetrable-looking conveyance the size of a cross-country Greyhound, painted all in black, with dark tinted windows and flashing red and blue lights.”

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan told the AP the bus wasn’t purchased solely for the president and would be used for other dignitaries. He said the agency also purchased a second bus.

He told AP that the Secret Service was overdue for some buses for protections of politicians traveling around the country by bus.